California PUC establishes new utility planning process to reach carbon goals
- The California Public Utilities Commission yesterday approved a new type of planning process aimed at helping the state meet aggressive greenhouse gas reduction goals, which include reducing power sector emissions by more than 60% from 1990 levels within the next two decades.
- The CPUC adopted new requirements for load serving entities' integrated resource plans (IRPs), and established a two-year planning cycle that splits goal setting off from assessing utility plans.
- Filings by LSEs must include at least one scenario that conforms to the CPUC's planning direction, while also presenting any utility-preferred scenarios that may deviate from the commission’s planning standards.
California has a suite of renewable and clean energy programs that are making progress on the state's goals, but regulators are continuing to fine-tune the process. That new framework will focus on electricity providers finding efficient strategies to reduce carbon emissions while maintaining service.
In order to provide a general planning direction to the electric sector, the CPUC adopted a portfolio of energy resources which includes of approximately 10,200 MW of new renewable energy resources and 2,000 MW of new battery storage resources by 2030.
The decision adopts a two-year planning cycle for CPUC to conduct modeling and analysis, sets greenhouse gas emissions targets, and consider IRP filings from all load serving entities. The long-term plans will be the vehicle for LSEs proposing actual procurement of additional resources to meet the planning requirements.
At the end of each two-year cycle, California regulators will authorize procurement, where appropriate, that is necessary to occur within the next one to three years, to meet the targets and needs identified in the IRP process.
The first such procurement authorization, if needed, is anticipated to come near the end of this year. All LSE plans will be required to describe how they meet certain requirements related to disadvantaged communities.
The CPUC is not the only California agency developing plans to meet the state's ambitious goals. The California Air Resources Board last year approved a "2017 Scoping Plan Update" laying out how the state will continue to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve air quality.
CARB's plan, approved unanimously by regulators, paints a pathway to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 40% below 1990 levels by 2030, which the agency says will require the state to double the rate at which it has been cutting climate-changing gases.
- California Public Utilities Commission CPUC ADOPTS GROUNDBREAKING PATH TO REDUCE GREENHOUSE GASES IN ELECTRIC SECTOR
Follow Robert Walton on Twitter